Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean nations. For all its diminutive size, however, the country is packed with startling contrasts of scenery, from steaming tropical rainforests and windswept highlands to ice-capped volcanoes and palm-fringed beaches. This tour will take you to the World Heritage cities of Quito and Cuenca, the fascinating village of Otavalo with its enormous indigenous market, Cotopaxi National Park and Guayaquil, Ecuador's biggest city.
|Tour Duration||:||10 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||04 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||16 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
* Please contact us for other program of Ecuador or extension to the Galapagos Islands.B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Day 01: Arrive Quito
Day 02: Quito
Enjoy a sightseeing-tour of the city of Quito (approx. 5 hrs), which leads us through the historical centre of Quito for a walk through the culturally diverse history of this city. As the excursion leads you through the interesting streets of Quito, the local culture welcomes you with beauty and intrigue. Our guide will take us for a walk through the culturally diverse history of Quito. Have a closer look at the heart of the city of Quito: the Independence Square with the Government palace and the Cathedral on the way to San Francisco Square, you will visit the Church of La Compañia, which has the most ornate and richly sculptured façade and interior. Afterwards, we visit the famous hill of the old town, Panecillo (“Little Bread”) where we see the angel statue “Virgen de Quito”. Then proceed to the Equatorial Line Monument called “Middle of the World” where we get a truly rare experience to stand in both, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously. The Equatorial Monument marks the spot where an 18th century French scientific expedition established the exact position of the Equator. The area has been built as a typical colonial town, with restaurants, gift shops and Post Office with philatelic sales. Visit the monument and Ethnographical Museum, which shows the history of the Indian cultures of Ecuador. Return to the hotel. (B)
Day 03: Quito/Otavalo (Drive)
In the morning you will discover the worldwide known Indian handcrafts market Otavalo. The town consists of rather functional buildings with the Plaza de los Ponchos as the centre. The local Indians have achieved economic prosperity as a result of their skill in weaving a tremendous variety of designs in belts, tapestries, ponchos and other clothing items. Here you will enjoy the unique variety of handicrafts and textiles that offer this giant colourful market and certainly, you will be able to carry some new souvenirs with you.
In the afternoon continue to Otavalo and visit of the foundation “Juvilus”, which was created over 12 years ago by Franciscan Father Alfonso Castells and attends children with HIV syndrome abandoned by their families from different parts of Ecuador. More than 20 children of all ages between 5 months and 17 years are living in a renovated and perfectly adapted monastery. Father Alfonso has developed three micro projects, a pig and guinea pig farm and a restaurant, with which they cover their living expenses. They don’t receive donations, other than the medications they collect from the state. Children are assisted by a social worker and psychologist who visit them twice a week.
Overnight: Hotel Hacienda Pinsaqui or Hotel Hacienda La Mirage, Otavalo (1 night) (B)
Note: visit to the school is not possible on public holidays or during summer holidays in July, August and September
Day 04: Otavalo/Papallacta (Drive)
Today’s tour includes Laguna Cuicocha, a crater lake at an altitude of 3000m with a diameter of about 3 kms. Two islands emerge from the centre, both of volcanic origin, covered with vegetation and rimmed with totora, a type of reed. The small town Cotacachi itself is Ecuador’s centre of leatherworks. Afterwards we head to the small Andean village of Papallacta, which is famous for its thermal baths. Upon arrival in Papallacta you will visit the baths of the Hotel Termas de Papallacta, which are located 3220 m above sea level. Enjoy the pleasant effect of the warm, odourless thermal water surrounded by a wonderful landscape. After enjoying the pools you may go for a walk to get to know the typical flora and fauna of this region.
Overnight: Hotel Termas de Papallacta, Papallacta (1 night) (B)
Day 05: Papallacta/Cotopaxi (Drive)
After breakfast we drive to Cotopaxi National Park. The highland zone, protected since 1975, with its 33000 ha wide area, it is one of the most attractive ecological reserves in the country. On a walk near the shallow lake Laguna de Limpiopungo at an altitude of almost 4000 m, you will have the chance to learn about the typical vegetation of Páramo and will gaze in wonder at the beautiful view of Cotopaxi (5897 m) in the background. To take a picture here makes photographers’ hearts beat faster!.
Overnight: Hotel Hacienda La Cienega or Hotel Hacienda Hato Verde, Cotopaxi (1 night) (B)
Day 06: Cotopaxi/Riobamba (Drive)
This morning we visit continue about 14 km on to Quilotoa, the famous volcanic lake with beautiful views. In the late afternoon we continue on to Riobamba, which is the capital of the province of Chimborazo, where a great number of indigenous communities live. Close to Chimborazo, the highest mountain of Ecuador, we will be spending the night in one of the most atmospheric Hosterías this region has to offer.
Overnight: Hotel Hosteria Abraspungo, Riobamba (1 night) (B)
Day 07: Riobamba/Cuenca (Train)
After an early breakfast we will be taken to the train-station in Alausí to board the train for the famous Devil’s Nose ride (subject to weather & technical – subject to change). Enjoy the fascinating landscape of the Andes. This is for sure a very special way to see the country! Lunchbox is included. We start with an approximately 2 hours drive to the City of Cuenca. On the way, we’ll stop at the Inca ruin site of Ingapirca, the most important monument of pre-Spanish culture in Ecuador. The ruins are located on a grass-covered hill at an altitude of about 3100 m. On a walk through the former place where the Incas lived and hold their ceremonies, you will learn about their beliefs and rituals as well as about the way they constructed this ordination place, which has the shape of a puma. After arriving in Cuenca, we check in at our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Carvallo or Hotel San Juan or Hotel Mansion Alcazar, Cuenca (2 nights) (B, Lunchbox)
Day 08: Cuenca
Another exciting touring day awaits us. Cuenca, the third largest city of Ecuador, was established in 1557 on an Inca settlement valley. For most Ecuadorian inhabitants – and also for travellers – this centre of art, ceramic, panama hats as well as products of silver and gold is the most beautiful city in Ecuador. Due to the early 19th century architectures, Cuenca was declared “Cultural Patrimony of Mankind” in November 1999. During the city tour we’ll see the historical buildings, located along Tomebamba River, Todos los Santos ruins, flowers market and main square with the old and new cathedrals. A visit will also be included to a Panama hat factory. The afternoon will be at leisure to explore the beauty of this town on our own. (B)
Day 09: Cuenca/Guayaquil
This day we will travel on to Ecuador’s largest city Guayaquil, which is the industrial and commercial centre of the country. It lies on the western banks of the Río Guayas, about 56 km from its outflow into the Gulf of Guayaquil. Towards the coastal area the road loses height and the land is more intensively farmed. The Guayas lowlands are characterized by mangroves and banana plantations. Enroute visit a cacao project. During a guided tour through the cacao plantations visitors will learn everything about the cultivation of the cacao fruit, the process of harvesting and the cacao bean treatment. The Ecuadorian cacao is famous and popular for its very high quality. Upon arrival in Guayaquil short sightseeing tour of the city.
Overnight: Hotel Unipark or Hotel Oro Verde, Guayaquil (1 night) (B)
Day 10: Guayaquil/Depart
Check out time is by 1100 hrs and transfer to the airport for your flight out. (B)
* Please contact us for other program of Ecuador or extension to the Galapagos Islands.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
Jan 20 & 27; Feb 24; Mar 10; Apr 07 & 14; May 05; Jun 02 & 30; Jul 14; Aug 11; Sep 22; Oct 20; Nov 03 & 17
|Departure(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|Option 1||US$ 1895 CA$ 2464||US$ 450 CA$ 585|
|Option 2||US$ 2495 CA$ 3244||US$ 650 CA$ 845|
Hotels below or similar for Option 1 (3-Star) & Option 2 (4-Star)
|City||Option 1||Option 2|
|Hotel Alameda Mercure||Hotel Hilton Colon|
|Hotel Hacienda Pinsaqui||Hotel Hacienda La Mirage|
|Hotel Termas de Papallacta||Hotel Termas de Papallacta (3 star)|
|Hotel Hacienda La Cienega (2*)||Hotel Hacienda Hato Verde (3 star)|
|Hotel Hosteria Abraspungo||Hotel Hosteria Abraspungo (3 star)|
|Hotel Carvallo or Hotel San Juan||Hotel Mansion Alcazar|
|Hotel Unipark (4*)||Hotel Oro Verde (5*)|
Please contact us for other program of Ecuador or extension to the Galapagos Islands.
Estimated International Airfare
(International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 04 and a maximum of 16 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.